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Welcome to Las Vegas

The sign reading, "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada," has welcomed people to Las Vegas since 1959. The sign is a work of art in neon that has become an icon of the city. Local sign maker Betty Whitehead Willis designed the sign that speaks to the optimism of 1950s Las Vegas casino owners and civic leaders. Clark County has provided visitors with a turn out and parking area on Las Vegas Boulevard South to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of visitors who have their photographs taken in front of the sign.

The Facts

The sign is a 25-foot-tall (7.6 m) classic roadside pole design, mounted offset on two flat poles which are joined by a cross piece at the top. Willis intended to design a sign that was unique in its shape, style and content. Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) currently owns the sign, which leases it to Clark County, while the design itself is in the public domain. The design of the sign was never copyrighted since Willis considered this her gift to the city and wanted it to be in the public domain. This has resulted in the image being ubiquitous on Las Vegas souvenirs.

On October 4, 1999, the sign went dark for about a month when the company that had been paying the power bill was bought by another company who did not pay the bill. When the problem was discovered, payment of the past due amount, under $60, was made, and power was turned back on.

On March 13, 2009 Clark County nominated the sign for listing on the National Register of Historic Places with the listing receiving approval on May 1, 2009.

Welcome to Las Vegas